Westports Malaysia Dragons held winless with loss to Barsy Atyrau, 61-94

In their third game of the 2016 FIBA Asia Champions Cup on October 11, the Malaysia Dragons suffered another loss. This time their defeat came at the hands of Kazakhstan team Barsy Atyrau, 61-94.

The Dragons got a bulk of their contributors back in this game, namely Kuek Tian Yuan and Wong Yi Hou. However, it still wouldn’t be enough to get them their first win of the tournament. Even with reinforcements, the Dragons were still limited to 9 players to field without Joel Wright and Loh Shee Fai. Wright was nursing minor injuries after playing 2 full games without rest.

In addition to Wright’s absence, Coach Chris Thomas also decided to rest Skylar Spencer for a majority of the game to not further aggravate any injuries. The American import played in only 15 minutes, but scored 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.

This created a large physical disadvantage for the Dragons and Barsy Atyrau made sure to take advantage of that. The Kazakhstan team outscored the Dragons 62-30 inside the paint. Leading the way for Barsy was Pavel Micheev who had 30 points on 14/21 shooting from the field.

Me Chee Kheun continued to be the bright spot for the Malaysia Dragons in this tournament, scoring in double digits for the third straight game with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. The team captain has been averaging 12.3 points in the tournament so far. Kuek Tian Yuan also made his debut count, scoring 15 points for his team.

While expressing visible frustration on the sidelines, newly appointed Head Coach Chris Thomas is still optimistic about the Dragons’ future.

“The players we have on our team are all very talented, and I could not be more blessed to be their coach,” Coach Thomas says. “I cannot wait for the 6 weeks of preparations we have ahead of us to train and further improve their skills, to be able to shoot instinctively and react without overthinking.”

This loss shuts down any hope for the Dragons at advancing to the Semifinals with 0 wins and 3 losses so far, but they will still have one more game left to play in the tournament. Their final opponents will be the Xinjiang Flying Tigers or China Kashgar, as they are known in this tournament. The game will be played on October 12 at 8:00 PM (GMT +8).